"The creature of smoke and shadow unseated sir percival from his steed, and in that moment Percival knew he was weak, knew he was not worthy of his title, and he wept."*Wrote nobody
In my D&D campaign there is a Druid. Capital D because he is the only, the last druid.
One of the threads the group is currently tugging on involves the Druid seeking out magical energy and using it to re establish the system of ley lines that was destroyed many years ago. (Many years in game and in real life.)
One of his tool is a seed or large walnut that was gifted to the druid by the senior druid before him. This nut when placed amongst enough magical energy will basically cause a verdant forest to erupt on the spot. Purifying the land and restoring the flow of ley energy.
[If you pay in my game there is stuff here that might explain some of the weirdness from our last game.]
This weekend The Druid used that seed for the first time in the ruins of an ancient city that had been destroyed during time of war and was now pretty well over run by dueling populations of Skaven and Naga.
The vegetation exploded around the party nearly trapping them in the underground vault where all this started. The walls were soon gnarled with roots and vines, grasses soon overwhelmed the Gnome, and the dwarf was up to his beard in green. The ruins were cleansed of corruption. That node of ley lines restored.
Corruption is like water, it flows amongst us all the time, rusting our cars, making the souls of our shoes fall apart, making that woman we are interesting in have eyes for some other asshole at the bar.
Corruption is an energy of it's own and like energy it can change form but it can't be destroyed. Corruption lays like an oily film on the surface of the things it has touched, slowly working into every nook.
When the Druid used his power to cleanse the ruined city of Careth, he did not destroy the corruption he simply pushed it out. Some of that corruption formed pools of swirling hate and dissonance, shadows of corrupt matter. Some of it started looking for those who disturbed it. effects that also corrupt only serve to feed it's rage, necrosis, poisons, hexes and curses will bolster these nightmares.
The Corruption golems:
Golem as a term assumes it was created by someone for some purpose. A corruption golem is created though not intentionally, and it does have purpose though not one desired by the creator.
A corruption golem is dark, amorphous, smoky, hulking mass. It is all smoke and grease and scum. It's outline so distorted that landing a solid blow to the creature is difficult even for skilled warriors.
When a Corruption golem strikes it does so with no small force, but the real effect is psychological, The victim feels doubt, and depression. All of the things the person has done wrong in their life will flood back to them.
On the first strike the victim will lose their ability to strike with conviction.
On the second the golem will have seeped so deeply into their psyche that the victim will be less likely to fight at all.
The third strike can reduce the finest warrior to a depressed whimper.
Death in this manner is horrible and final.
I had any one getting hit by a corruption golem save (in this case wisdom)
1 failed save they lost all of their non magical attack bonuses.
2 failed saves the monster may roll d10 each round and reduce any of the victims rolls by that amount.
3 failed save the victim is struck prone, can still act but not stand for 1d6 rounds while still suffering the effects above.
As a gm if the characters were struck and failed their saving throws. I made sure to recount horrid things the characters had done and failures they had experienced. The golem made the characters feel insufficient, unworthy, corrupt, unclean.
If a character is ever brought to the third level of effect by a corruption golem they will pick up a score called "Loathing" This score starts at 1.
- Once a day they must check vs this score, if they roll equal or lower (on 1d20) they suffer the effects of the being hit once by a corruption golem for the rest of the day, as they will be plagued by self doubt, melancholy, dark thoughts, and depression for the rest of that day.
- Also if this check is failed the loathing score increases by 1.
- Only a remove curse spell can reverse this effect.
The bard's counter charm was effective against the level 1 corruption, granting an advantage to saves.
Counter charm would not be effective against the level 2 or 3 effect as the character must already be suffering from the horrible self doubt brought on by the first failed save.
Those killed by a Corruption golem , don't actually die they waste away, going in moments from health individuals to desiccated corpse.
If not burned the corpse of one killed by a corruption golem will rise in a day as a corruption ghoul.
These types of ghouls are not driven by hunger but by desire to feed on happiness and joy , they will seek it out , lurk in the shadows and slowly feed off any joy they can.
Corution ghouls have all the hiding abilities of a 3rd level rogue and choose to stick to dark and forgotten corners. They may enter the light if need be and retain enough wisdom to sometime don heavy cloaks to hide their corrupt forms.
the wise may notice a fitted set of a heavy feeling in the air when they are near.
true blooded elves can not abide their presence and can detect them far more readily.
They do not speak and do not act in groups, they hate even each other and will avoid the living except to feed.
It is sometimes the doing of a corruption ghoul that a cow will stop giving milk, a happy couple will fail at marriage, a child will turn sad on a summer day, and a sober man will turn to drink.
They are vicious if cornered and drawn to combat using horrible claw like hand to attack with bony fetid claws. Corruption ghouls have an instinctive hatred of elves and will attack them first if forced to fight.
Luckily they are frail and can be put down by the sword.
Thank you for reading .
have a great one, questions and comments are welcome!